Friday, April 14, 2023

Den Hoed at Son Ryan's for Bulls Play-in Game

Den Hoed at Ryan's for Bulls Game

I joined son Ryan and grandson Reid for dinner to watch the Chicago Bulls play the Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs 'play-in' game, in which the winner would advance to earn the 10th seed playoff berth. 

In the end, the Bulls let a late lead slip away in 102-91 loss to the Miami Heat, ending their season 1 win shy thereby missing the shot at a playoff berth.

Ryan's Michelle had prepared chicken ciaccatore pasta. With dinner and to watch the game, Ryan opened a Den Hoed Marie's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012. I have accumulated a vertical collection of this label in the auction marketplace. This rare limited release label is actually produced by the Den Hoed borthers from estate grown grapes on their vineyards overlooking the Yakima River in Central Washington State.

Den Hoed Marie's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

 Just a month earlier, I took this same bottle to son Alec's when we watched in NCAA basketball tournament. That night, Alec prepared grilled Waygu beefsteaks with mashed potatoes and mushrooms to watch together the Big Ten basketball tournament quarterfinals with our beloved alma mater Indiana.

Den Hoed Marie's View Walula Slope Horse Heaven Hills Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

That night I took from our cellar this same special limited release label from a lot that I acquired at auction, since this wine has a rather disparate lengthy family connection. 

We met the sister of the producer Den Hoed brothers, vintner farmers in Yakima Valley Washington, at the wedding of our niece, Alec and Ryan's cousin, who married their nephew. Den Hoeds grow grapes for several producers and also produce some some limited release select labels of premium wines. 

Ryan and I first tasted Den Hoed wines at chic upscale Canlis Restaurant in Lake Union, suburban Seattle, when we were together for our Seattle Culinary Wine Weekend.

Den Hoed Andreas Wallula Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

As I wrote at the time. this is named for the patriarch founder, Andreas Den Hoed who married Marie Den Hoed in 1956 and they planted their first vineyard on their property that year. After two years in the Army Andreas returned to the farm. 

In the early years, they paid the bills growing mint. He continued to plant more vineyards as resources allowed, expanding acreage almost every year. In 1988, their two sons Bill and Andy joined the business as partners in a new project, with acreage planted to vineyards. 

The father and sons team continued to expand in the Yakima Valley for the next 5-6 years. After several years of searching, in 1997, they purchased a 550 acre parcel of land bordering the Columbia River in the Wallula Gap. Since then the vineyard has earned a reputation as one of the finest in the region. It is sited in a picturesque growing location nestled high above the mighty Columbia River south of of the town of Kennewick. The wines produced from this vineyard have proven to stand the test of time and can stand up and hold their own against the best wines of the new world. 

Andreas is a limited production estate wine which celebrates their family history and showcases the Wallula Vineyard. It is a robust Cabernet Sauvignon crafted by Gilles Nicault of the notable Long Shadows Vintners Collection of wines that we collect as prime members of their club. We also discovered Long Shadows during that Seattle, Woodinville Wine Weekend. 

Canlis Lake Union night view
That was our first tasting experience of Den Hoed wines, and being priced below the median on the extensive Canlis winelist, we were dubious yet had high expectations. The Andreas met our most lofty hopes and expectations and was a highlight of our extraordinary meal.

So, how fitting it was that that Canlis dinner was a mini family affair as wife Linda and son Ryan joined me at this legendary family restaurant. Moreover, a subplot to the story, our niece Anna Long, married into the Van Hoed family, farmers, wine growers, viticulturists and winemakers from the famed Walula Vineyards in the central Washington wine region.

Tonight we opened another Den Hoed label, Marie's View from a vineyard so named on the Walula Slope in the Horse Heaven Hills Washington State Appellation. This was from the same vintage as that first Den Hoed wine encounter, 2012.

The 2012 Washington red wines vintage follows challenging vintages in 2010 and 2011. Some producers considered 2012 the best in state history - a notable great vintage that stands tall amongst the best in the past 20 years. While 2002 and 2005 may have produced wines a bit richer than 2012 made great wines across the regions, from cooler climate Yakima Valley to the stony Walla Walla Valley. 

Wines made in 2012 might have slightly more acidity,but they are generally balanced red wines that show a good core of fruits, while perhaps not as hedonistic as the big red wines made in 2013, 2014 or 2016. 

At eleven years, these wines are probably at their apex, not likely to improve with further aging, but certain to age gracefully for perhaps another decade.   

Den Hoed Wine Estates is a collaborative effort between the Den Hoed brothers, Bill and Andy, and former Stimson Lane and Chateau St Michelle CEO and Washington wine pioneer, Alan Shoup, to produce great red wines from their jointly owned Wallula Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills. 

We discovered Long Shadows Cellars during that trip and since joining their club, we've acquired a vertical collection of a half dozen vintages of their premier labels of renowned producers crafting world class wines from Washington State fruit.

Notably, I learned and wrote just the week before last that Alan Shoup sadly passed just recently.

The winemaker is the local well known Rob Newsom of Boudreaux Cellars. 

Previous vintages of Marie’s View were blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese with the proportions varying from year to year. This is the first vintage of this wine to be labeled as a Cabernet Sauvignon as opposed to a red wine.

Den Hoed Marie’s View Wallula Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2012 

Like that earlier tasting when this was a perfect complement, pairing with the grilled beefsteaks and mushrooms, tonight it was delicious with the Italian pasta and chicken.

This vineyard is named for Marie Van Hoed, wife of founder Andreas, mother of the current generation producers. 

This was awarded 93 points by Owen Bargreen, and 89 points by Wine Enthusiast. Earlier releases consistently earned 92 and 93 points.

This is the first vintage of this wine to be labeled as a Cabernet Sauvignon as opposed to a red wine, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

Den Hoed wines are packaged in an extra heavy bottles with the most incredible deepest punts (that indentation in the bottle around which sediment collects).  

Densely colored inky garnet purple, medium full bodied, concentrated, firmly structured, full round black berry, black currant and plum fruits with notes of creosote, cassis, cedar and hints of pepper with a vibrant acid backbone and firm tannins on a lasting finish. 

RM 92 points.